â€œBut chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.â€ (2 Peter 2:10)
In context here, Peter is speaking of the false teachers who would later come into the Christian community, leading many to â€œfollow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken ofâ€ (2 Peter 2:2). Among other characteristics, these teachers would â€œdespise governmentâ€ and â€œspeak evil of dignities.â€
Again in context, it seems clear that the â€œgovernmentâ€ Peter has in mind primarily is the divine government that had been established by God for the universe (the â€œprincipalities and powers in heavenly placesâ€â€”Ephesians 3:10) and the â€œdignitiesâ€ refer to the angelsâ€”even those that have rebelled and now follow Satan. Jude notes in a similar passage that even the archangel Michael spoke respectfully to Satan, the premier fallen angel (Jude 8-9).
Therefore, it is carnally arrogant and dangerous for men to insult or to ridicule such powerful beings. They are for God to judge and deal with, in His own time and way.
And the same must be true of human â€œdignitiesâ€ and â€œgovernment.â€ We must remember that â€œthe powers that be are ordained of Godâ€ (Romans 13:1) and that â€œthe most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,â€ and sometimes He even â€œsetteth up over it the basest of menâ€ (Daniel 4:17).
Even if we live in a republic, therefore, and can participate in the selection of our leaders, our main responsibility is to â€œbe subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all menâ€ (Titus 3:1-2). HMM